Opinion | Donald Trump, Joe Biden and the Vote of the Irish – By Shawn McCreesh – The New York Times


Mr. McCreesh is an editorial assistant for the Opinion section.

Credit…Lucas Jackson/Reuters

“In 2016, my vantage point on the donnybrook between Donald and Hillary was an Irish bar in Queens, where I was a bartender a few nights a week. It was a cash-only joint that sometimes stayed open until 7 a.m. and sold discounted cigarettes driven up from Virginia, the sort of place where you could make $800 under the table but you also might get a bottle or a chair thrown at you. This was where I watched the presidential debates and noticed something interesting. Half the patrons were Irish immigrants who considered Mr. Trump a real “eejit,” but the other half, the Irish Americans, thought he was just grand.

Something didn’t compute. Weren’t the Clintons universally beloved by all with Irish blood? (See “Derry Girls” on Netflix for a sample of the rock star treatment they got after Bill brought peace to Northern Ireland.) It was puzzling to watch the barflies buzz about Trump’s anti-immigration rhetoric — a drawbridge mentality from a crowd whose lineage had been met with “Irish Need Not Apply” signs. The craic in the Queens shebeen turned out to be a sudsy microcosm: The green vote has never been more red.

“All those Irish were Democrats for literally hundreds of years,” said James F. McKay III, the president of the Ancient Order of Hibernians, the largest Irish Catholic organization in the country. “But what is the old saying? When they got the wrinkles out of the belly, they became Republicans.”

No doubt. My own grandfather, one of 12 children raised in a two-bedroom house in County Armagh, sailed to Philadelphia, and cheered when John F. Kennedy became president. Sixty-six years later, some of my grandfather’s children and his brother voted for Donald Trump.”

Opinion | Donald Trump, Unmasked – By Gail Collins and Bret Stephens – The New York Times

“Gail: The most working-class part of Trump’s bio was the time his father made him go around and collect the rent.

Bret: I don’t expect the Biden team to listen to my advice, and I’m not even sure I’d endorse every bit of this in a fantasy Stephens presidency. But the chief parts of the MAMA agenda (“Make America Make Again,”) would include an unprecedented infrastructure plan, worth at least a couple of trillion dollars. A “Made Here”-approach to the supply chain through some combination of insourcing requirements and tax breaks.

Gail: So far we are in accord.

Bret: Steady levels of defense spending, not only to deter foreign adventurism and keep our troops in uniform, but to maintain an important part of our industrial base.

Gail: Never bought into the idea that the best way to help our economy was by juicing up the international arms race.

Bret: A Recovery Authority that makes it quick and simple for businesses to get access to capital, restructure their debts and cut through red tape that is often time-consuming, complex and expensive, especially for small businesses. A National Service option to give younger people locked out of the job market a way to keep busy, make a basic income and contribute to society. Comprehensive immigration reform to give undocumented people a path to citizenship and bring them into the regular economy.

Gail: Looking forward to those things happening so we can argue about the details. But in general I’m with you.

Bret: I know you’re going to say “public option” for health insurance. In normal times I would never endorse it. But if we end up with Depression-era levels of unemployment, even I may warm to some version of the idea.”

David Lindsay Jr.
Hamden, CT | NYT Comment:
Wonderfkul conversation, thank you both Gail and Bret. Towards the end you said:
“Gail: Part of it goes back to that mask-wearing. Every time I walk outside I see my neighbors working together, accepting some discomfort for the common good. And almost everyone I talk with — or Zoom with — is thinking about great things to do as soon as we turn a corner.
Bret: Agreed. I hope people are going to find opportunities for self-reinvention, not just in terms of their working life but in the things they value in themselves and others, and in the values they hold dear. For instance, I’m sure many of our readers might gladly envision me stocking shelves at a big-box store, or shrimp fishing like Forrest Gump.”
David Lindsay: This got me excited. What would George Plimton do? If I were younger, and not at risk for being over 65, I would sign up to go get trained to work in a meat packing factory, so that I could describe for the reading public what that environment is like, and what the workers have to put up with, for what appears to be almost minimun wage. Bret, you are young enough, why don’t you try being a meat packer for a month or two! You would have such interesting things to write about!
David blogs at InconvenientNews.net, and is the author of The Tay Son Rebellion about 18th century Vietnam.

Donald Trump’s Worst Deal – By Adam Davidson – The New Yorker

The New Yorker magazine article “Donald Trump’s Worst Deal” – By Adam Davidson ends:

“Senator Sherrod Brown, of Ohio, who is the ranking Democratic member of the Committee on Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs, said, in an e-mail, that a federal investigation was warranted: “The Trump Organization’s Baku project shows the lack of ‘extreme vetting’ Mr. Trump applied to his own business dealings in corruption-plagued regimes around the globe. . . . Congress—and the Trump Administration itself—has a duty to examine whether the President or his family is exposed to terrorist financing, sanctions, money laundering, and other imprudent associations through their business holdings and connections.

”More than a dozen lawyers with experience in F.C.P.A. prosecution expressed surprise at the Trump Organization’s seemingly lax approach to vetting its foreign partners. But, when I asked a former Trump Organization executive if the Baku deal had seemed unusual, he lau ghed. “No deal there seems unusual, as long as a check is attached,” he said. ”  ♦

Source: Donald Trump’s Worst Deal – The New Yorker

The Presidential Debate in Song: Who’s Gonna Work It Out? – The New York Times

The Presidential Debate in Song: Who’s Gonna Work It Out?Op-DocsBy THE GREGORY BROTHERS and JOSEPH GORDON-LEVITT OCT. 10, 2016Continue reading the main storyShare This Page Share Tweet Email More SaveContinue reading the main storyVideoThe Presidential Debate in Song: Who’s Gonna Work It Out?Joseph Gordon-Levitt and the Gregory Brothers team up to present a musical mashup of highlights from the second 2016 presidential debate. By THE GREGORY BROTHERS and JOSEPH GORDON-LEVITT on Publish Date October 10, 2016. Photo by The Gregory Brothers. Watch in Times Video » embed ShareTweetAbsurd. Surreal. Farcical. Freakish. Unfathomable. These are just a few of the words that we’ve heard used to describe the 2016 election, plus several synonyms that we just looked up in a thesaurus to make the list look even longer and more weighty.And sure, last night’s debate was strange. A first lady turned senator turned secretary of state versus a landlord turned reality TV host turned semiprofessional birther turned amateur horror movie lurker who creeps up behind you. Yeah, that’s pretty weird.

Source: The Presidential Debate in Song: Who’s Gonna Work It Out? – The New York Times

What Donald Trump Gets Wrong About Orlando. The massacre was made possible by easy access to guns for terror suspects. nytimes.com|By The Editorial Board

The New York Times:


The massacre was made possible by easy access to guns for terror suspects.
nytimes.com|By The Editorial Board

Wrath of the Conned The divergent outcomes of the presidential nominating processes is a tale of two very different parties. nytimes.com|By Paul Krugman

Paul Krugman: “Think about where we were a year ago. At the time, Hillary Clinton and Jeb Bush were widely seen as the front-runners for their parties’ nods. If there was any dissent from the commentariat, it came from those suggesting that Mr. Bush might be supplanted by a fresher, but still establishment, face, like Marco Rubio.

And now here we are. But why did Mrs. Clinton, despite the most negative media coverage of any candidate in this cycle — yes, worse than Donald Trump’s — go the distance, while the G.O.P. establishment went down to humiliating defeat?”

The divergent outcomes of the presidential nominating processes is a tale of two very different parties.
nytimes.com|By Paul Krugman

Donald Trump’s Trial Balloons Are Catching Up With Him – The New York Times

“WASHINGTON — Two weeks ago, Donald J. Trump said he could live with a nuclear-armed Japan and South Korea if it meant they could defend themselves against North Korea without American aid. “I’m not sure that would be a bad thing for us,” he said.Since then he has changed his tune. After Japanese and South Korean officials raised fears of an Asian arms race, and President Obama ridiculed his remark, Mr. Trump began to say he did not actually want the two countries to obtain nuclear weapons — but that, because of American weakness, “at some point it could happen anyway.”It was not the first time Mr. Trump has hastily added deflating caveats to his headline-grabbing trial balloons.In a debate a month ago, he declared himself in favor of torture if it would extract information from terrorists, then issued a statement saying he would respect the law, then followed it up by saying that the law must be changed.”

Source: Donald Trump’s Trial Balloons Are Catching Up With Him – The New York Times

Donald Trump is outragous and dangerous, and he is helping both parties review and remember what American foreign policy stands for and is based on.

Trump and Abortion, by Nick Kristof – The New York Times

“Many Americans are ambivalent on abortion. But Trump has now turned the attention back from the fetus to the woman. And remember that three in 10 American women get an abortion at some point in their lives.Second, the data suggests that one of the most effective ways to reduce the number of abortions would be to increase the availability of publicly funded family planning. In 2013, publicly funded family planning prevented two million unintended pregnancies, including almost 700,000 abortions, according to the Guttmacher Institute.”

Source: Trump and Abortion – The New York Times

Trump’s New World Disorder, by Roger Cohen – The New York Times

“Goodbye to all that. Now we know that Donald Trump would rip up the post-1945 world order, trash an “obsolete” NATO, lean toward a Japan with nukes rather than the “one-sided agreement” that leaves the United States responsible for Japanese defense, tell Saudi Arabia that it “wouldn’t be around for very long” without American protection, and generally make clear that “we cannot be the policeman of the world.”

So much for Pax Americana; it was a bad deal, you see, and in the Trump universe the deal is everything. American power and far-flung American garrisons may have underwritten global security and averted nuclear war for more than seven decades, but they cannot be sustained by the “poor country” the United States has become. Why? Because, he insists, the whole postwar setup is a scam.

That Trump could be the next president of the United States is no longer a fanciful notion. Americans don’t want business as usual; Trump is not business as usual. He’s ranting and schmoozing his way to the White House as the man who, through some alchemy, will make an anxious America proud again. The world — already more combustible than at any time in recent decades — may be about to become a much more dangerous place.”

Source: Trump’s New World Disorder – The New York Times


This is a good piece by Roger Cohen, followed by some amazing comments. Cohen is absolutely right about the importance of NATO. Trump is a disaster, but part of his underlying critique is sound. The US has more re-balancing, more retreating to do, so that our allies can help pay for the world order we have been funding. I would add to the excellent discussion the point of Andrew Grove of Intel, we need a more job centric ecomomic policy and trade policy. He has a great argument for a new Scaling Bank, from his article in Bussinessweek in 2010 referenced in his piece in the NYTimes last week. Once we come up with a new widget, we need to apply tools and investment to manufacture the item here. We need manufacturing to remain competitive on so many levels. If we do not rebuild the middle class, why bother with the expensive foreign policy that is just for the 1%.

I have recently posted both of these referenced Andy Gove pieces at blog 1, InconvenientNew.wordpress.com.

Trump Is No Accident, by Paul Krugman – The New York Times

“Establishment Republicans who are horrified by the rise of Donald Trump might want to take a minute to remember the glitch heard round the world — the talking point Marco Rubio couldn’t stop repeating in a crucial debate, exposing him to devastating ridicule and sending his campaign into a death spiral. It went like this: “Let’s dispel with this fiction that Barack Obama doesn’t know what he’s doing. He knows exactly what he’s doing.” The clear, if ungrammatical, implication was that all the bad things Republicans claim have happened under President Obama — in particular, America’s allegedly reduced stature in the world — are the result of a deliberate effort to weaken the nation. In other words, the establishment favorite for the G.O.P. nomination, the man Time magazine once put on its cover with the headline “The Republican Savior,” was deliberately channeling the paranoid style in American politics. He was suggesting, albeit coyly, that a sitting president is a traitor.”

Source: Trump Is No Accident – The New York Times

In a short time I found three examples in Sander’s tweets of what Krugman was talking about: demagoguery or rigidity. Sanders tweeted that only he cared about the middle class. Hillary has different positions, but to suggest she doesn’t care is demagoguery.

Hillary is evil because she took $2700 from a man who had been registered as a lobbyist for the NRA. What really matters, is not who you accept money from, but how you vote. Sanders has a much weaker record than Clinton on gun control. She also has a good record on Bank and investment controls. And yes, there is more to do.

In another tweet, only Sanders would ban all fracking. This position is extreme, given that the EPA has determined that fracking can be done without polluting the water supply unacceptably if done properly, and there has been far less water pollution than extremists would have you think. It also makes us less dependent on the middle east.

While I didn’t see such a tweet, Sander’s opposition to all foreign trade deals, because they only causes a loss of jobs, is uninformed, or demagogic, or both. Paul Krugman has written brilliantly about the complexities of our trade deals, which are more about foreign policy initiatives than jobs, and which appear to be beyond Sander’s comprehension. The TPP is about fighting China in the future for influence and position.